Family of bicyclist killed in Irving Park hit-and-run files suit against motorist, city, Metra

Nick Parlingayan, 22, was riding his bike under a viaduct in Irving Park last year when he was struck by a car. The suit alleges construction work created a hazard for cyclists.

SHARE Family of bicyclist killed in Irving Park hit-and-run files suit against motorist, city, Metra
A judge’s gavel

Adobe stock photo

The family of a bicyclist who was struck and killed by a vehicle in Irving Park last May alleges in a lawsuit that construction near the roadway where he was hit created dangerous conditions for cyclists.

The suit was filed last week in Cook County Circuit Court by Mary Alegarbes as administrator for the estate of her son Nick Parlingayan.

Several defendants are named in the suit, including the city of Chicago, Metra and the motorist, Phil Pinkawa, who was charged with failing to report an accident and death after fleeing the crash scene.

“Nick loved being outdoors and riding his bicycle. While we miss his vibrant, loving personality every day, I find a small bit of peace in knowing Nick is helping to make the city a safer place for his fellow cyclists,” Alegarbes said in a statement. “I can only hope this lawsuit holds those responsible accountable and prevents another family from experiencing the unimaginable pain we have felt this past year.”

On May 4, Pinkawa, 57, was in a black 2022 Nissan Versa when he allegedly struck Parlingayan, 22, who was riding north under a viaduct in the 3800 block of North Milwaukee Avenue, police said. The suit states that Parlingayan was dragged 50 feet.

Paramedics found him unconscious on the street and took him to Illinois Masonic Medical Center, where he was pronounced dead.

There was a Metra construction site near the viaduct, and the traffic pattern around the site narrowed the roadway, forcing vehicles into the bike lane, the suit says. It also alleges there were no signs warning that the bike lane under the viaduct was closed.

Metra was overseeing the construction, the suit states. A construction company, IHC Construction, and Transystems Corp., which designed the traffic plan, are also named as defendants in the suit.

According to the suit, the defendants were negligent in failing to ensure the traffic plan was safe for bicyclists traveling under the viaduct, and they didn’t post proper signage warning of the bike lane closure.

A spokesperson for the city’s law department said the agency had not been served with the complaint and had no further comment. Metra also declined to comment.

The lawsuit also alleges that Pinkawa was driving at an “unreasonably high speed” and failed to maintain a safe distance from Parlingayan. Pinkawa was working for Di Vita’s Restaurant, a pizzeria, at the time, according to the suit. The restaurant was also named as a defendant.

Pinkawa was charged with one felony count of failing to report an accident and death. He entered a plea of not guilty on May 31, according to court records.

In November 2019, another bicyclist, Carla Aiello, was fatally struck by a truck across the street from where Parlingayan was hit. A “ghost bike” memorial for her death is still there.

“Milwaukee Avenue has needed better protections for bicyclists and pedestrians for some time. These lack of safety precautions, combined with failures by those involved in the construction of the area and driver error, created a dangerous scenario for anyone riding through that underpass,” the Parlingayan family’s attorney, Brian L. Salvi, said in a statement. “We hope that by filing this lawsuit, Nick’s death will not be in vain and will help our lawmakers make this high-traffic area of the city a safer space for bicyclists, pedestrians and drivers.”

The suit is seeking more than $50,000 in damages.

The Latest
They seem like a great match but the man keeps putting off an actual date, saying he’s intimidated.
As executive chef at the Chicago Stadium and the United Center in the early 1990s, he cooked for athletes and their families, as well as team owners.
Imanaga made his third major-league start Saturday against the Mariners and picked up his second win.
Taillon (strained back) has made two rehab starts.